Tuesday 6 December 2016

Loach drama shows Iraq practices

Published 21/05/2010 | 17:51

Mark Womack stars in Ken Loach's drama Route Irish
Mark Womack stars in Ken Loach's drama Route Irish

The star of Ken Loach's new film has said the director aimed to highlight torture and "illegal practices" in Iraq by including waterboarding scenes set in the UK.

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Mark Womack, who takes the lead role in Route Irish, said the movie brought the realities of war "into our towns and cities".

The political thriller, which was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, explores the role played by private security consultants in Iraq but is set mainly in Liverpool.

British actor Mark - who is married to EastEnders actress Samantha Womack - said: "There was a descriptive line in the script that didn't make the film that I'll paraphrase - I think it was 'Iraq in an English country garden', and that to me encapsulates it really well.

"It's very easy for us to ignore the torture, waterboarding, illegal practices that are going on, when they are a million miles away in Iraq.

"But if you bring that home into our towns and cities then you can't ignore it and I think that is the reason, although you would have to ask Ken why he chose to make a film about Iraq but set it in Liverpool rather than over there."

Veteran director Loach said he and writer Paul Laverty had been hoping to make a film about the Iraq war for some time, but had struggled to find a story that fully highlighted the "horror" of the conflict.

He said: "The challenge was to find a story and characters that would reveal this conflict, and would indicate the landscape of what had happened in that war."

The winner of the Palme D'Or will be announced on Sunday.

Press Association

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